AIBU to think its aggressive to tell people to smile?

(36 Posts)
designonaut Thu 27-Oct-16 20:06:25

Me this afternoon - quietly walking along a (fairly) busy street. I had a lot on my mind. Parked up on the side of the pavement was a removals van, with a couple of guys busy near it. One of them was loud. He said, presumably to the other guys "Let's stop some passers-by and get them to shift the furniture" I walked past. And as I went past he turned to me and said "Smile!" as if I was doing something wrong. Not wanting to be disagreeable I laughed and said "I didn't really hear what you were saying, but I don't think I'd be much help with moving furniture" and carried on walking. Then the guy turned around to watch me and shouted at me "Smile!" It made me feel a bit self-conscious. This has happened to me and friends before. It always seems to be some bloke saying it in front of other blokes. Or a variation "I bet you look lovely when you smile" I suppose it's harmless but it does piss me off sometimes. Do other people get this?

VeryBitchyRestingFace Thu 27-Oct-16 20:13:39

I used to (see user name).

This was back in the day when I apparently merely looked serious.

Happily my default facial expression has since morphed into looking like I'm going rip fucking heads off.

Nobody bothers me now.

Fucking bliss. Happy days. smile

formerbabe Thu 27-Oct-16 20:17:52

It's misogynistic...it's only ever seems to be men saying this to women.

ElectricMelon Thu 27-Oct-16 20:20:24

I hate it. I have a proper miserable face and get told this on a daily basis or I get told 'you'd be much prettier if you smiled'.

c3pu Thu 27-Oct-16 20:21:00

Other men have told me to cheer up/smile before, and yes it is incredibly awful thing to say.

Who knows what trials the person is going through? They could well have reason not to smile, perhaps they are mourning the loss of a loved one...

Terribly rude.

formerbabe Thu 27-Oct-16 20:21:47

I find the best response is "go fuck yourself".

malmi Thu 27-Oct-16 20:24:53

I'm a man and have had this said to me by a man. I flashed a (hopefully) sarcastic smile at him as I passed him, making sure my face went straight to 'unimpressed' whilst still looking him in the eye.

Marshmallow92 Thu 27-Oct-16 20:25:22

Yeah I get this too. A colleague/friend of mine once said I have what she would describe as a "fuck off face" she did also say that she too had one but learnt to work on it grin

Pollyanna9 Thu 27-Oct-16 20:25:25

Why is it always MEN that do this.

WTF? Are women supposed to go round skipping gaily along the streets simpering and grinning like utter twats or something? I **** HATE it when someone says this to me.

I wouldn't mind, but right up until the point where the word passes their liips, I AM perfectly bloody happy thanks! I just don't feel the need to grin like an escaped loon.

Asshats the lot of them. Total and utter mysogony and nothing else.

trinny101 Thu 27-Oct-16 20:25:31

Another one is "cheer up love it might never happen!"

Rude as fuck in my opinion. envy

designonaut Thu 27-Oct-16 20:26:00

Trouble is I don't even realise I look miserable. Or perhaps I don't and they're just trying to get attention. It makes me feel like either going around with a mad grin on my face or glaring and looking like I'm about to rip their heads off.

JenLindleyShitMom Thu 27-Oct-16 20:26:13

It's a very well known tactic used by certain types of assholes men to give themselves a little buzz by knowing it pisses women off.

I never ever respond, I don't look at them, or acknowledge that they spoke in any way. Same response if they whistle at me. I'm not a fucking dog!

JenLindleyShitMom Thu 27-Oct-16 20:27:04

Trouble is I don't even realise I look miserable.

Whether you do or you don't, it's none of their business. Your face doesn't exist to please them.

JenLindleyShitMom Thu 27-Oct-16 20:29:07

If I had less regard for the law I'd be inclined to carry a gun and when these fuckers told me to smile I'd rest the end of the barrel on their forehead and say "you fucking smile" angry

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 27-Oct-16 20:31:11

That's the problem for them Jen, if you aren't deliberately arranging your face to please them as you walk past that's unacceptable. Cocks.

JenLindleyShitMom Thu 27-Oct-16 20:31:47

I might take to yelling back "cry/sulk/gurn" when they do it. If they can request facial expressions I can too.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 27-Oct-16 20:33:02

This story shows how pervasive it is. She escaped slavery to free slaves herself. And the important thing is whether she's decorative.

Be told, women. Your job is to look happy, all the fucking time.

Musicaltheatremum Thu 27-Oct-16 20:33:23

I remember someone telling me to "smile, it may never happen" sadly my husband was dying and it did "happen" He got an earful as I was at my lowest point.

VeryBitchyRestingFace Thu 27-Oct-16 20:35:05

I did, at age 21, respond to "cheer up love, it might never happen", with "actually, somebody just died."

Which was true, my granddad had, that very morning. And as I said it, all the emotion flooded into my face.

Bet I cured one tosser of using that phrase, at least. grin

Cookingongas Thu 27-Oct-16 20:42:03

I once sat at a bus stop looking miserable . There were two other men at the bus stop. Both looked miserable. A third man rocked up and turned to me (the only woman there) and proffered the helpful advice "smile love- it might never happen".

The two miserable men were my husband and father. I was pregnant and had been told an hour earlier that my son had no chance of life outside of my womb. Why didn't he address us as a group? "You all look miserable! Smile ffs!" - because he was a misogynistic prick who felt my gender made me an easy target to use to fluff his ego.

He didn't get on our bus- not after the tirade that met his "friendly" advice.

HardcoreLadyType Thu 27-Oct-16 20:47:52

The thing is, if someone smiles at you, or makes a friendly comment, (eg, "lovely day!") you would probably/possibly smile at them.

If they just demand a smile, it's like they are asking for something from you, but giving nothing of themself in return.

BlurryFace Thu 27-Oct-16 21:26:46

I hate being told to smile. When I worked retail I would always give a cheery greeting and a smile to whoever I was serving while trying to make eye contact then I would go back to my neutral expression while scanning their shopping. Several times I would get ignored while they played on their phones or whatever until they finally decided to look at me and then they'd demand a smile. This would happen with women too. I'm quite a cheerful person, I just didn't grin while concentrating on the till screen making sure everything was scanning.

ConvincingLiar Thu 27-Oct-16 22:09:37

Some wanker told my friend to "smile love" as she was sat near the bottom of an escalator he was coming down. He was so busy patronising her he failed to notice he'd reached the bottom and fell flat on his face. She smiled them.

Didactylos Thu 27-Oct-16 22:12:37

I was once told this when walking out of a hospital
don't think he expected me to stop and shriek at him ' My child is dead inside me, I am going home to miscarry, can you think of one fucking thing I might have to smile about?
seriously - a woman looking sombre, tearful and upset, walking away from a hospital entrance. What kind of egotistical prick cant put two and two together that she might be thinking of other things than smiling for the benefit of strangers at that moment?
I am greatly appreciative of the ladies who stopped and comforted me

Fewerofwhomithinkwell Thu 27-Oct-16 22:14:56

What formerbabe said

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now